On my first move-in day in New York City, my mother and I went to Despaña for two reasons: 1) it’s literally right next to my building and 2) it’s authentic Spanish food, a nod to our heritage. When we first walked in, we immediately felt at home and became giddy when we saw the 1880 products. 1880 is literally the most incredible purveyor of Spanish treats, from polvorones to turrón; my Spanish teacher at Georgetown brought them to class one day and I became hooked. When I told my family about them, they ordered some and loved them too.
The first time I went I ordered the vegetarian sandwich and really enjoyed it, minus the white asparagus. Otherwise, the bread was so hearty and rustic; the ingredients were very Spanish and savory. It was so big that I took the second half home. This time, I was foraging nearby SoHo cafés for a cheap and delicious salad. After my futile search, I walked back into Despaña on a whim. Voilà! At the register, they have prepped Spanish salad in clear plastic containers.
Location: 408 Broome Street
Time: 5 pm
Order: Manchego salad and aged balsamic vinaigrette
Review: OMG. I felt as though I was teleported back home. The fresh, crunchy lettuce and the shredded manchego created the perfect medley, along with the juicy cherry tomatoes and oven-baked croutons. Not to mention the sliced artisan bread that accompanies the salad. I absolutely adored the manchego salad; I don’t think I have enjoyed a meal that much in that long. In fact, I loved it so much that I returned yesterday for another salad. I decided to be bold and adventurous: I tried the dried fruit salad, which costs $8.44. Granted, it was tasty and filling, but I still felt attached to the manchego salad.